Interview With Actor Ben Rosenbaum, “When Call the Heart”

By Ruth on February 13, 2017 in Interview, movie, television
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As I am currently featuring several interviews with various When Calls the Heart cast members, welcome to the second of my “Hearties Countdown” interviews, in which I am highlighting Ben Rosenbaum. Hearties know him best as the lovable and endearing Hickam, who is often laboring behind-the-scenes and doesn’t always know how to stand up for himself. All too often, his nemesis is Rosemary, and many Hope Valley residents (with a few notable exceptions) rarely take any notice of him. While the character Hickam is maturing as the seasons move along, I am thrilled to witness Ben’s dynamic development as an actor and as a person which are evident in his recent responses to questions about season four, his aspirations for the future, and even a taste of his personal life.

RH: First of all, Hearties loved meeting you at HFR2 {Hearties Family Reunion 2}. What was that experience like for you? What was your impression of the fans at the convention?

BR: It was a lot of fun! I tried my best to meet everyone, but it flew by because we were lucky to have A LOT of Hearties join us up in Vancouver. I was touched by the stories of personal connection to the show that many Hearties have, and I enjoyed hearing about what the show means to them. It is a rare treat to have that kind of direct link to an audience when working in TV (though Twitter helps us get pretty close).

I know we spoke of it last time I interviewed you, but what do you appreciate most about film and about theater? 

Spending some time on stage is a great way to reconnect with my first love of acting and an excellent way to stay sharp. Live theater really challenges the actors to listen and play because you can’t start over or drop out of a moment because you want to try a different take—it requires active engagement in a different way. Comedians are constantly doing stand-up, regardless of how big they get or if they have a TV show named after them because it keeps them at the top of their game. I think theater can be like that for some actors.

What can we expect from season four of When Calls the Heart for your character, Hickam? Any chance of a romance for him?

I honestly can’t think of a single thing to say that wouldn’t risk being a spoiler.

Ben Rosenbaum (Hickam)

As a side note, many Hearties are wondering when your birthday is so they can acknowledge it. 

That’s so nice! My birthday is March 3rd

If you could write a scenario for Hickam in future seasons, what might you write?

How about this? Hickam buys a little plot of land for himself and finds that he’s sitting on a gold mine or oil. I’d love to see the way that people treat him if he were suddenly a man about town, and watch how others deal with someone who behaves unselfishly in the face of sudden wealth and power. I think there would be a lot of comedy to be found if people in Hope Valley suddenly noticed Hickam in a different way, but he hasn’t changed. That would be fun, watching him navigate that attention.

Pascale Hutton, Ben Rosenbaum (Hickam) Credit: Copyright 2016 Crown Media United States, LLC/Photographer: Eike Schroter

Behind the scenes, with whom do you spend your “downtime”on set?

I spend a lot of my time with the other American cast members of the show just because we are usually staying in housing pretty nearby one another. I also hang out with Kavan {Smith} and Pascale {Hutton} quite a bit (they are very generous with their time, even though they have full lives of their own in Vancouver!).

 

Any other upcoming works you can mention?

Short films, writing, improv comedy…. When any of it takes a form that I can share, I’ll make sure to let you know! Your support and interest in my career is so appreciated!

How has being on the show changed you both personally and professionally? 

WCTH was my first opportunity to play a recurring character on a TV series, so it has been a great learning experience spending so much time on the same set, getting to work with the same actors, crew, and directors, etc. It has been a wonderful example of how fun and comfortable it can be to work on a set like that.

Ben Rosenbaum (Hickam)

We fans feel it is high time for you to be cast in a Hallmark film! If you could be in a Hallmark film with actor, whom would you choose? Also, what kind of character would you like to portray? 

Thank you! Hallmark Channel is great about listening to their fans, so if you will it… it may be no dream!

I would love to play the traditional rom-com guy who makes all the right moves and ultimately convinces his opposite (and the audience) that love is possible, and that we all deserve to find someone who makes us feel that way. Solving a mystery (or helping to) sounds pretty great too, though I think I’d be a little bummed to know how it all ends!

Ben Rosenbaum, Mark Humphrey, Jack Wagner, Daniel Lissing, Kavan Smith Credit: Copyright 2016 Crown Media United States, LLC/Photographer: Eike Schroter

As far as who I’d like to work with, obviously any of my castmates from WCTH are at the top of my list, but assuming you mean outside of them… I’m a big admirer of Shantel Vansanten’s work (she was such a stand-out on The Flash). She has done a couple movies for Hallmark Channel, and I’d love an opportunity to work with her. And I’d love to work with Brooke Shields again, in which case we’d have to get some good comedy in the mix. Hallmark Channel gets such amazing talent for their different projects, I’m sure I’d be very lucky to act with anyone they choose.

In your free time, what do you like to do? Any hobbies?

I like to write and stretch my creative muscles in ways outside of acting. I like design, and I studied graphic design, so for fun I like to design artwork for t-shirts, prints, hats, etc. I’m a runner, and when I have a race coming up, I train for that with regular runs (I’ll be running another marathon later this year). Not hobbies, but fun. I have started to really love going to open houses, just to see what’s out there and imagine life in different spaces. I also like to check out different local coffee shops, wherever I happen to be—something I know Paul Greene appreciates!

What is one thing you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t done yet? 

Own a motorcycle (and ride it of course). But this one will probably just stay a dream because the women in my life have forbade it, and I try to heed their wise council.

While I have yet to meet Ben, I have heard nothing but exceptional things about him from the Hearties who were privileged to meet him in December. They raved about his demeanor, his kindness, his manners, and his willingness to interact with the fans. As my favorite U.S. president coined over a century ago, “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.” (Abraham Lincoln) And in the case of Ben, I believe that to be one hundred percent accurate. All too often, actors in this business have the appearance of being genuine, charitable and humble. They can play the game the vast majority of the time. However, once a fan event the magnitude of HFR2 occurs, whispers can abound within the shadows. And in time, those seemingly trivial moments when a certain actor did this or said that can emerge and tarnish the reputation of an actor, especially one without the benefit of vast experience in conventions and the like. In Ben’s case, even behind-the-scenes of the convention, fans could not praise him nor his comportment enough. In actuality, the Hearties overwhelmed his feed with gratitude unbounded. Even if he was unable to respond to each fan personally, Ben’s heart is evident whether online or offline. He belongs to that rare breed of actors where what you see in the blinding limelight is what you see when the cameras go dark. Ben is patiently awaiting what the future holds for his career, but he is also absorbed in the here and now in which his paramount concern is immersing himself in the dream role with which he has been entrusted on a show that continues to define family-friendly television dramas. I would invite each of you to check out Ben at the links below because a considerate and benevolent actor such as Ben deserves our unswerving support as fans. Furthermore, watch out for Hickam on When Calls the Heart which returns triumphantly to the Hallmark Channel on Sunday, February 19th. He’s easy to spot, but he does have a tendency to blend into the background if the viewer is unaware of his role. I speak from experience because I essentially missed his role the entire first season upon my inaugural viewing.

FOLLOW BEN

Website

Twitter

IMDB

BE SURE TO TUNE TO THE HALLMARK CHANNEL ON FEBRUARY 19TH AS SEASON FOUR OF WHEN CALLS THE HEART GRACES OUR SCREENS! LONG LIVE HICKAM AND #HICKAMSHEARTIES!

 

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About the Author

RuthView all posts by Ruth

43-year-old single mother of an active 14-year-old girl
Born in Tacoma, WA; lives in Yelm, WA
Entertainment Writer
Available For Interviews and Reviews
Substitute Teacher

2 Comments

  1. Kathy Ruzich February 14, 2017 Reply

    Truly a #HickamsHearties here! Hence this was especially meaningful to me. Love how you highlighted his gentle caring spirit which draws us to him & his character portrayal of Hickam. Ben is always the first to respond to a tweet tagging the actors. My wish on my birthday was just to get a response from Ben which absolutely made my day! 😉

    • Author
      Ruth February 14, 2017 Reply

      Kathy I’m so glad. He is a wonderful young man. And he seems to have quite a following. I couldn’t be happier for him!

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